Are you experiencing the issue when you turn on a hot shower but you only receive a trickle of water?
There’s nothing more satisfying than a steaming hot shower to warm you at the end of a long day but when the water is trickling slowly, it can be absolutely frustrating. So what causes low hot water pressure and how do you fix it?
DIAGNOSING LOW WATER PRESSURE
Did you know that the pressure from any tap in your household should not exceed 500 kPa (72.5 psi)? The actual water pressure in your home can be worked out using a device called a pressure gauge. If the pressure is below 275 kPa (40 psi) it is considered low.
Low water pressure can be due to a number of reasons like faulty fixtures, hot water system issues, or broken pressure regulators. It is important to identify the source of the problem to avoid the dreaded shower trickle.
Here are some quick steps you can follow to identify the source of the low water pressure problem.
- Check if the water pressure is low in all the fixtures or the entire house – If the problem is only experienced when using the hot water tap, the likely cause is your water heater. If it is only in certain taps, mixers, or showerheads, the issue could be due to a clogged fixture.
- Is the low pressure in both cold and hot water or just hot water? If both cold and hot water has a low supply, it could be due to a broken pressure regulator or a closed shut-off valve.
- Check the hot water system for leaks or rust – Your water heater requires regular maintenance and if it is corroded or leaking, it could be affecting your water supply.
POSSIBLE REASONS FOR LOW WATER PRESSURE
- Accumulation of sediments in hot water system – Is your hot water supply affected? It could be due to the accumulation of sediments in your storage tank. Depending on the water quality in your area, the hot water tank may need to be flushed regularly to remove any sediment buildup. If you haven’t had your tank flushed recently, contact your local plumber. We recommend getting the hot water system flushed regularly if needed to extend the life of your water heater and prevent low-pressure problems in the future.
- High water demand – Using your appliances and shower at the same time can cause the pressure to drop. This problem can be fixed easily by coordinating your water usage across different times of the day.
- Incorrect installation – Often the issues arise due to incorrect plumbing installation, bends in pipes, mismatched pipe diameters or worn-out pipes.
- Blocked pipes – Does your water flow slow down after some time? Pipes can accumulate sediments, limescale, or other debris causing the water flow to slow down. If this is the case, your plumber can clean or replace the pipes.
- Tempering valve – Tempering valves are installed to regulate the temperature of the hot water in your home. It mixes hot and cold water to feed the water at a reduced temperature to the water outlets. Any issues with the tempering valve can lead to reduced water pressure or lack of hot water supply. It is an easy fix, just contact your local plumber, replacing the valve will usually fix your water pressure problems.
- Blocked filters – Just like pipes, filters can accumulate sediment. Luckily the problem can be easily fixed by cleaning or replacing the filters.
- Worn out showerheads & taps – Showerheads and taps can accumulate debris over time. Cleaning the fixtures or replacing them should be enough to resolve the problem.
- Pressure regulator – Does your water pressure vary – either it is too high or too low? This could be due to a broken pressure regulator, your plumber can fix the pressure regulator and set it to the required level.
- Partially closed valves – The water supply can be low due to a closed valve. You can check these valves and open them if needed.
- Leaks – Can you see water near your hot water tank or around the pipes? In this case, contact your emergency plumbers immediately and turn off the water supply to the mains. Water and electricity are a deadly combination.
HOW TO FIX LOW WATER PRESSURE
The problems discussed above need professional assistance as a DIY job can often make the problem worse.
If you are struggling with low water pressure, contact the expert plumbers at Brisbane Plumbing and Drainage. We understand how annoying water issues can be and we can take your stress away.